|Summary||Eternalism is the picture of time delivered to us by the special and general theories of relativity. Eternalists hold, roughly, that (i) all times from the big-bang to the heat death of the universe exist equally; (ii) there is nothing metaphysically special about the present (terms like 'present' and 'now' are indexical notions); (iii) the passage of time is not an objective feature of reality. Eternalism is also known as the 'block universe' view, which is meant to suggest a conception of the universe as a four-dimensional spacetime manifold.|
Mellor 1998 offers a book length defense of the eternalist model of time and discusses many of the issues and arguments surrounding the view. For early defenders of the view see Williams 1951, which offers the prototype argument for eternalism or the manifold/block universe, and Taylor 1955, which emphasizes the lack of clear difference between time and space. Putnam 1967 and Rietdijk 1966 advocate for an eternalist model of time based on the special theory of relativity, and Smart 1963 holds that eternalism results from dropping our pre-scientific, anthropocentric view of the world. Sider 2001 argues effectively for eternalism in the midst of a book length defense of a perdurance theory of persistence.
|Introductions||Good introductions include Rea 2003, Miller 2013, the collected papers in Ciuni et al 2013 and Markosian 2010.|
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